Finally, we’ve gotten to the Bowe Bergdahl trial and are finding out some very interesting things. In case you’ve forgotten, Bergdahl is the Army soldier who left his assigned duty station on a combat outpost in Afghanistan. He left his weapon, night vision devices and body armor — and deserted his post. Those are the facts, simple and true.
Now, it seems Bergdahl’s defense could be based upon what are being termed “mitigating” factors.
As reported in Military.com:
Five years of torment at the hands of what one witness called “psychopathic sadists” make it likely that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl would serve little if any jail time, military lawyers said, even if he were court-martialed and found guilty of desertion and misconduct.
Testimony about Bergdahl’s horrific treatment by the Taliban-associated Haqqani network — as well as other evidence largely undisputed by prosecutors at his Article 32 probable-cause hearing on whether he should face court-martial — revealed significant mitigating factors, experts said. That evidence, if left unchallenged, would probably spare him confinement were he convicted, the lawyers said, and could replace court-martial with another disposition.
“It’s hard for me to imagine either a judge or a military panel sentencing him to any additional confinement with the facts of this case,” said Victor Hansen, a former Army lawyer who’s now an associate law professor at the New England School of Law. “From a fairness point, what more do we want to punish him for?”
Lt. Col. Mark Visger, who presided over Bergdahl’s two-day hearing in San Antonio last month, is expected to provide his recommendations Monday to Gen. Robert Abrams, commander of the U.S. Forces Command. Abrams inherited convening authority in the case after Gen. Mark Milley, who in March charged Bergdahl, was promoted to Army chief of staff.
But the recommendation is just that; Abrams could disregard it. It’s also possible that prosecutors, who did not dispute evidence nor introduce aggravating evidence, might do so if Abrams sends the case to court-martial.
I have two words for this assertion about “mitigating factors” — bovine excrement! What kind of insidious crap is this? Let’s be very honest, there’s only one mitigating factor: Bowe Bergdahl wouldn’t have been in the hands of the Haqqani Network if he’d kept his arse on his combat outpost. Have we lost all sense of individual responsibility in our society and the military?
Bergdahl’s supposed detention for five years was of his own choosing. He made a conscious choice to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice by deserting in a combat zone. Folks, that’s punishable by death, which of course won’t happen. But to come up with this weak-as-pond-water mess that he’s already suffered is unconscionable.
Let’s consider something, why is it that Bergdahl was held for those five years? This enemy we face does not “hold on” to American combat troops. They’re ritually disemboweled and savagely beheaded. What were the “mitigating factors” that meant Bowe Bergdahl got special treatment? He certainly didn’t look like he was in bad health.
You want to know another “mitigating factor”? Consider the six U.S. soldiers who lost their lives searching for a deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, what about their suffering — they’re dead. They lost their lives because some deserter decided to abandon them. Guess what, they didn’t abandon him and they lost their lives in pursuing that noble goal.
Ladies and Gents, this episode stinks with undue command influence. It’s rather interesting that the person who did the investigation on Bergdahl is now the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army. If anyone believes President Obama wants a long, drawn-out court case with a life imprisonment verdict for someone he traded for five senior Taliban leaders, you’re misguided. Obama wants Bergdahl’s case to go away, with minimal consequence.
Here’s the angle that’ll be pursued on Bergdahl’s behalf — he’s a victim. And we know the liberal progressive left loves a victim. This excerpt from the Military.com article explains it all:
The unusual charges against Bergdahl — desertion with the intent to shirk or avoid hazardous or important service, and misbehavior before the enemy that endangered troops who had to search for him — carry a maximum potential of life in prison along with dishonorable discharge. Maximum sentences under the Uniform Code of Military Justice are rarely levied, however, even in cases without the extensive mitigating circumstances of the Bergdahl case.
According to undisputed testimony, just weeks into his 2009 deployment to Afghanistan, then-Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl hatched a quixotic plan to alert the highest levels of command to what he considered serious leadership issues in his unit that were endangering troops. He would disappear from his outpost, creating a crisis reaching all the way to the Pentagon, run to the forward-operating base 19 miles away, and demand that a general officer hear him out.
Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who did the “15-6” command investigation that led to the charges, described Bergdahl as an “unrealistic idealist” who often misperceived situations, including inflated views of his own abilities and the flaws of others and felt honor-bound to bring his concerns about his command to light.
“He felt that it was his responsibility to intervene,” Dahl testified, no matter the repercussions to himself or his chances of success.
Dahl testified that his investigation found no evidence that troops were killed during the search for Bergdahl and said it would be “inappropriate” to send him to jail.
Bergdahl was captured by the Taliban within hours after leaving post. For the next five years, he was beaten with hoses and chains, tied spread-eagled to a bed until his muscles atrophied, starved, humiliated and kept in a cage, according to testimony by Terrence Russell, an official with the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency, a survival specialist who debriefed Bergdahl. Russell, no stranger to harsh treatment, teared up recalling Bergdahl’s treatment. He said that Bergdahl had tried valiantly to escape, to resist and to stay alive to bring back intelligence.
I have just one question for all these “experts,” investigating officers and purveyors of “mitigating factors:” — how many U.S. combat troops deserted their duty posts in Iraq and Afghanistan? How many in Bergdahl’s unit felt conditions were so bad they walked off their duty post?
It’s amazing to me all of these concessions are being made for a deserter — the only relevant factor. If Bowe Bergdahl hadn’t deserted, he wouldn’t have been taken by the enemy. Plain and simple. He was not “captured,” as he was not fighting. And if his injuries were so bad, why was he so able to go off Ft. Sam Houston into the local community?
The liberal progressive mindset was on full display by Susan Rice who declared Bergdahl served with honor and distinction. Funny, the U.S. Army wants to kick SFC Charles Martland out of the service — a Green Beret soldier with a Bronze Star for Valor award — for beating the crap out of an Afghan police chief guilty of raping a twelve-year-old boy and beating his mother.
But Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter, is a victim for whom we should consider the “mitigating factors” this coward brought upon himself?
This, Ladies and Gents, is Barack Obama’s military. Cowards are heroes, and heroes are demonized. Doggone FUBAR!